This is thundering music with an interesting sound; it’s somewhere between Old-School and New and gives the band an interesting sheen.
We’ve heard this style before, of course, but this is a veritable exemplar of the sub-genre as it’s done exceedingly well.
Taking elements of bands such as Enslaved, Arcturus and, notably, Bathory, this is an impressive distillation of the quintessence of those bands, birthed anew in the form of Riddle of Steel.
The music and vocals are epic beyond all reason and you just can’t help but get carried away by the obvious passion and enthusiasm here. It’s hard to credit that this is a début album really as the level of maturity displayed on these songs is staggering. Each track is fully realised and boasts more features than many bands manage in a full album.
Epic melodies abound and the guitars really do draw out every last tiny bit of emotion possible from the instrument. This is Metal through and through in the best possible way. It’s Bathory updated for 2014 whilst remaining faithful and true to the original.
The vocals are varied and accomplished; they span everything from darker, rougher shouts, to higher screams, to a mid-ground semi-clean, to choral overlays. The delivery is masterful.
The music is richly textured and almost suffers from stimulation overload at points as there’s a lot going on and it’s all so damned grandiose!
This will likely be snapped up eagerly by fans of the Bathory/epic Viking Metal scene who are still hungry for all things of this nature. Unless you think Bathory are the be-all and end-all of this style then you should find more than enough to feast on here.
Turn it on, turn it up and get swept away in the huge nature of the band.
(Sample is from their Conqueror EP which is a taster of two tracks from the album)